our score: 1.5 out of 5.0
does Moby's revolutionary chill-out dance music just become tedious?
On 18 B Sides his elegant blend of house beats, grand
string arrangements and blues vocals is little more than a formula
-- and one that becomes rapidly tiresome. The album is, as advertised,
a collection of unpolished and uninspired leftovers. You could
say it's best left to Moby diehards, but it's the artist's hardcores
that may be the most dissatisfied with its gratuitous redundancy,
which almost seems to self-trivialize Moby's unique inspiration
and bedroom-style recording technique.
there are three songs that stand out on the album ("Landing,"
"Afterlife," "Stay"), they are easily dwarfed
by the remaining repetitiveness. "Love of Strings" could
be any number of tracks from the original 18 without
the vocals, and "Nearer" is an obvious revisit to "One
of the These Mornings" (without the oomph). Everything else
is a limp refashion of 1999's Play, which, at first glance,
seems to be the crude working of a corrupt studio imitator. "String
Electro" is to "Go" as "Downhill" is
to "Natural Blues." Moby has reduced his recording style
down to a failing formula: make a smooth house beat, overlay with
ambient piano and string arrangements, insert gospel hollers,
wash, rinse and repeat.
knows it's not as simple as that. Duplicating the graceful genius
of Moby's effortless sound is harder than it seems, and 18
B Sides is proof of that. Here's a drab rehash that should've
never seen the light of day. Every brilliant artist has their
inevitable failures, but that's why they're not supposed to be
published. The best thing 18 B Sides has done is to make
me appreciate 18's A Sides even more.
2. Love of Strings
5. String Electro
7. Soul of Love
9. Piano & Strings
10. Horse & Carrot
11. Life’s So Sweet